It’s been weeks since I wrote. That’s actually a lie. I’ve written, but after reading what I wrote on New Year’s Eve we decided it was too somber, pensive, and maudlin for the blog. That’s not to say that I was teetering on the brink of sanity, but my writing definitely sounded that way.
There’s not much of an update to provide, except to say we are waiting. And it’s hard. We are trying to enjoy this time and get rest, because we know that is something that we will not have after our baby comes home. But in the space that this time creates, it’s hard to rest because we spend lots of time doing things we won’t be able to do later, and we think and talk about how long it’s taking. We are trying to just live our lives and go about planning all the things we normally would, but it feels like every decision is one that hinges on two possible scenarios. We constantly utter the phrase “if we have a baby by then”. It’s waiting for the rest of our lives to start, and it affects buying tickets to anything, booking vacations and business travel, and almost everything else that you can imagine. We’re certainly not the only people dealing with it…in fact, all the waiting families should all be in a Scenario Club together. Then we could sit around and talk about “if we have a baby by then” stuff. Laura and I are annoying ourselves with this shit – what if we were all together? Even I would leave the room.
We find ourselves at the mercy of the little pieces of info we have. Which amounts to anyone on our agency’s website who is marked “matched” or “placed”, and any pictures on social media from the agency of new families. There weren’t many of either of those things through December – quiet month – and only a little activity so far in January. But we still stalk both of those things almost every single day, and we celebrate with each other on the days when we forget to look, because we were busy living our lives. Those are the days that we feel like we won in this ridiculous Sanity Game.
The wait gives us time to worry, too. What if we’re still waiting in June? Oy vey – I don’t know if I can do this for another six months. (But of course I will if our baby doesn’t come home before then.) Will our baby be healthy? (Lord, please let our baby be healthy.) What if our baby hates the Indigo Girls music that is the audible wallpaper of our lives? (This just doesn’t even seem like a viable scenario.) What if my mom is out of town when the baby comes home? (This is actually possible, and I don’t have a good answer.) What if there is a huge snowfall when we get the call? (We’ll drive the Honda Pilot over anything we must to get where we need to be.)
And what if we have a daughter? What if we bring a little baby girl in the world and ask her to be strong enough to withstand obvious (and sometimes unknown) bias and misogyny and the #metoo movement? What if we can’t help shape her to be anti-fragile enough to withstand it all? It feels a little…wobbly. Someone learned a few weeks ago that I was trying to join a board for a local organization about which I feel passionately. And she said to me, “So you want to be a new mom and join a board?” Are you kidding me?! Nobody would ever say that to a man with a new baby who was pursuing adoption. I mean, gross. It shows how invasive and embedded our biases are. We have digested them, and placed these limits on women. It makes us question our own ability to be productive, amazing parents, and to also contribute to our professions and communities. It was one question in a flip conversation…but it’s a microcosm of exactly what feels so ridiculously stifling, and limits our abilities to fulfill ourselves and our children and our communities. FUCK THAT. How’s that for a movement? Put a hashtag on it.
I don’t have any linguistic finesse to put a bow on this post…except to say that this wait is hard. It’s hard to plan anything, it’s hard to be exhausted and know that this is the time we could rest. It’s hard to balance faith in what is coming and the reality of what we need to do today. So we try to rest, we reflect, and we continue to prepare ourselves to welcome home our child…our baby…our Humphrey.
Laura hates it when I call the baby Humphrey. 🙂